Page images
[ocr errors]

garded him with a scrutinising look, and then said,|| But come, John, never mind Oran uri at present. Tell

How is this, sir ? Has a cloud cast its shadow over the Major what passed between the fierce chieftain and the hospitable table of Mac-Vic-Ian; or has the wine his follower, Captain Lawrie. It may concern him to run to the lees, that you, a chieftain and a soldier, hear it without delay.” The lady's chief object in adhave deserted the festivities at so early a period of the verting again to the above circumstance was to evade entertainment ?" “He who is privileged with the the detail of the painful tradition; but Glenlyon was entrée here," replied Glenlyon, advancing gallantly and ignorant of it (which is possible, as he had been edutaking her hand in his, with a significant pressure, cated in England), or he was not disinclined to hear, "may well be excused for flying to the sunshine of in the conduct of a chief of his clan, a parallel to his such a presence, though Momus had throned liimself own meditated treachery to the Glencoemen. He acin cvery heart, and Bacchus presided at the table of|cordingly urged the boy to repeat to him the subject the chiestain.” The lady again looked in his face with of the song he so much admired. haughty surprise. She did not like its expression, nor “It was in those days," said the boy, with an arch the presumption of his manner and his address; but and significant look at the Major, “when the brave she had far too much dignity and self-possession to be Clan Gregor were proscribed, because they would not disconcerted. She calmly withdrew her hand, and follow in the wake of some other Highland clans, by observed, sarcastically, “ I have heard (but until now accepting chapters, and so sinking into feudal vassals I deemed it an idle satire), that an unworthy proneness || and villeyns, (for this, according to the wise and learned to high-flown compliment had been the cause of the bard, Macmathon, was the truc cause of their proscripsoubriquet of 'the sweet-mouthed Campbells,' bestowed | tion, and not the deserved chastisement they inflicted on my mother's clan. If such be the fact, their prac. | on some of their sheep-skin neighbours,) that Sir Colin tice must have begun elsewhere than in Glencoe, other- || Campbell of Glenurchy's only daughter fell in love and wise the commemorative epithet would, in all probability, eloped with the chief of the M Gregors, who was, at have been less flattering; for we love neither inflated that time, liding himself from a strong combination of compliments nor strained metaphors.” At this mo- | his rapacious enemies, in a wild glen in Braeranach. ment, an interesting boy, her second eldest son; who One of her clansmen, in the pursuit of a deer he had had entered a short time previously, and was amusing wounded, strayed to the vicinity of their cave, and himself, trying to string his father's bow, at a distant heard the daughter of his chief singing. window, was now addressed by Mrs. Macdonald, who “The hunter well knew the sweet voice of the lady, called out to him, “Come hither, Jolin, and tell Majorand, filled with compassion at her situation, hastened to Campbell what passed between Achitriaden and Cap-Bealach, and addressed her brother, Black Duncan of tain Lawrie, after he had left the banqueting-room ?” the Blue Cap, in the most moving language, to interGlenlyon saw that her object in calling the boy was to cede with his father, then a very old man, to pardon avoid any private conversation with him, and his face and receive into his favour herself and her husband. swelled with a scowl of indignation, while bis dark- ||The treacherous Duncan pretended to acquiesce, and brown eye glared ominously beneath his shaggy eye- || sent him back the following day, with an invitation to the brows; but conscious treachery cowed his doubtful chief to come and dine with him at Bealach, promising to courage, and he did not dare to trust himself with a use his influence to reconcile his father to the marriage, single glance at the lady, until the little fellow, who and to make them friends. had been so amused stringing the bow, and watching “The brave and honourable M Gregor, fearing no the heavy fall of snow, as not to have noticed the en-|| deceit, accepted the invitation, much against the advice, trance of Glenlyon, hearing his mother's voice, stepped | nay the entreaties, of his affectionate wife, who had little briskly to his side, seized one of his hands, and ex-confidence in her brother's word, and knew, from her claimed, “Oh, Cousin Major, but I am so happy to see father's age, that he could now act as he pleased. The you. I got a terrible fright from Achitriaden and chief, as she feared, was cruelly betrayed by Sir DunCaptain Lawrie after you went out, and fled from the can, and Ooun uri is the elegy in which his unfortunate hall, although so fond of music and the songs of the and lovely wife commemorated her heart-rending grief bards; who this day even exceeded themselves, as my on the occasion. father told the bard Macmathon, who presided. Was “ Tradition says, but I hope it is not true," connot that very provoking? But since you have come, || tinued the boy, “that Sir Duncan had the inhumanity perhaps mamma will take the harp, and sing Ovan uri. | to entice the lady to the castle afterwards, on the preDid you ever hear it, cousin Major ? It always makes | text that she was expected by her husband, and that me cry--it is so melancholy.”'

he was reconciled to her father and brother. When “And what is the subject of this favourite lay of || she arrived, some plausible excuse was made for the yours, John?" said the Major, who was not unwill- || absence of her husband, and she was thus inspired with ing to hide his feelings from the lady, by turning confidence, and induced to sit down to dinner along aside and addressing the boy. It must be a rare with the family, being placed in her usual seat at the song that has the power of drawing tears from the eyes head of the table. After dinner, the fruit was placed of my fierce and volatile cousin."

before her, when, on the removal of the napkin--oh, "Oh,” said the lady, who found that the boy was horror! what did she behold ?”—“Stop, for your entering on dangerous ground, by introducing a tradi- | life, John!” exclaimed the lady; "that addition to the tion distasteful to the Campbells, and who wished to legend is not true. Sir Duncan was a stern, grasping divert his attention from the subject, "you mistake the man, and not incapable of treachery any more than the character of your friend, John, who is a true Glencoe- ll other feudal barons of Scotland, and he has enriched man, soft as a maiden, fiercer than the flame, as has his clan by the persecution and betrayal of the Macbeen said of them by the bard who best knew the race. Il gregors; but he, as well as every chief and chieftain VOL. XVI.--NO, CLXXXIX.

2 Y


of his bold and noble clan, was distinguished for affec-, “I was standing at the back of Achitriaden's chair, tion and generosity to his relatives and clansmen. The sticking short chips of horse hair in the great cluster Campbells, like all other clans, have produced traitors ; || of massive curls that cover his neck and shoulders, these, however, have been but few in number; while, || thinking all the time of the nice fun I should have tofor love of country in the olden time, and for chivalrous morrow when he came down to call on my father; bravery even in our own, no other clan can be com- and, pretending to be in a great rage at my tricks, he pared to the illustrious race of Duine.”

chases me through the house with his drawn dirk, but The Major, disturbed by a tradition which seemed | laughing in his heart all the time. Thus was I euto foreshadow the cuormity of the treachery in which ployed, and thinking, when I heard Captain Lawrie he was himself engaged, scarcely heard the extenuating saying, 'Losl, I never seed so complete an ambuscaad. or redeeming observations of Mrs. Macdonald. He Ye had us, jammed atween the hills and your twa sprang from his seat, and flew to the window, pretend- || covered and inapproachable lines, as fairly in your ing to look out eagerly, as if he had seen some object power as the godly soldiers o' Lesly had the malignants passing of which he wished to recover another sight.o' Montrose in the castle court o’ Newark, when, Believing that he was highly offended, the lady said to to tame the pridefu' scorn o'the Hielan' devils

, they the boy, “How have you forgot your courtesy and began, for divertisement, noo to shoot affanose, and noo an politeness so far as to tell that tradition to a Camp-ear; but'-and he stopped as if a dirk had been driven bell, and in your father's house too? What will the into his heart. I looked over Achitriaden's shoulder, bard say of his young chieftain when he hears of this and there I saw the Captain sitting like a wizard in breach of hospitality?” This made the matter worse; a trance; his large goggle eyes staring and projecting for the sensitive and manly boy, reproaching himself from his head; his face elongated, and as pale as ashes; with discourtesy, flew to Glenlyon to apologise. Seiz- his cheeks clapped together like a pair of dismantled ing the Major's hand, he looked in his face with great branks; his mouth open; his tongue lolling about, in an anxiety, and, with tears in his large dark eyes, ex- effort to speak; bis large chin hiding his short neck, and claimed, “Cousin Major, can you forgive my thought-touching his breast; and his long arms hanging down lessness? I never meant to hurt your feelings. In- | by his sides; while his hauds, for all the world like two deed, I never did. Oh, do forgive me.

skate-bubbles floating on the tide, were twitching and “Forgive!” replied the Major, trying to clear the moving, as if they sought for something to cling to. dark scowl from his face; "you silly boy, I have no- I thought he was dying, and was going to tell Achi. thing to forgive. Do you think I have been twenty triaden to assist him; but when I looked in his face, I years in the English army without learning to see the was terrified at its expression. His shaggy brows were injustice and absurdity of blaming a whole clan for the drawn together and knit over his eyes, which kindled conduct of a single individual of their number? Pooh, and glanced like two coals of living tire; his nostrils pooh! these are antediluvian idcas, which nobody heeds were expanded, his teeth set, and the veins and sinews now a-days, but the crazy seers and bards of Glencoe of his face and neck were so swollen and started, that and Glenetive. Come, come,” continued the Major, for I might seize them with my hand. He had a hold of the boy looked puzzled rather than satisfied with these, the Captain's collar with his left hand, and his dirk, to him, incomprehensible new ideas, "I forgive you grasped firmly in his right, was elevated to strike; with all my heart ; but you must now let me hear what hut Ballachulish, who sat beside him, whispered somepassed between Achitriaden and Captain Lawrie.” thing in his ear, and he instantly dropped the Captain's

"I myself do not know the meaning of it,” replied collar, and returned his dirk to its sheath. My father the boy; “but Achitriaden was in a terrible pas- | observing that there was something wrong at Achi. sion. I shall never dare to play tricks on him again. triaden's end of the table, started to his legs, and exHis looks made me tremble."

claimed, in a tremendous voice, « The toast I now pro“But what was it all about ?” continued the Major. I pose craves Highland honours. Up, then, my friends, Come, you little coward, let us have the story.” neighbours, and clansmen, and let us drink a bumper

“Iam no coward,” said the boy, quickly, raising himself to the health of all and each of our stranger guests; to his full height, throwing back his head, and casting a but what more he said I cannot tell. I was frightened look of fiery indignation at the Major; who, knowing that Achitriaden would kill the Captain, and ran up the odium in which the word coward was held, above all to tell my mother to send for him--for she can tame others, in the Highlands, took the boy by the band, him with one word; but she said that the Captain was smoothed down his curly locks, and said, in a kindly safe in the hospitality of the clan and his own insig. voice, “Tut, my little cousin, I spake only in fun-I nilicance.” never meant to offend or twit you with cowardice-I “Dolt! madman!” broke from Glenlyon; “is this know and love you much better.” The little fellow his promised caution and vigilance ? Madam, I fear was softened by these words, but not exactly satis- | the consequences of this prolonged banquet ; and the fied, and he replied, “No person of my name was officers have to visit the quarters of the men to ascer ever charged with cowardice; and I will not be tain that the people have no complaints against their called a coward, even in fun, Major Campbell.” Why, lodgers, as a special report is to be made on this submy little gamecock," said the Major, “ you are as pas- | ject. Will you do me the favour to allow a servant sionate as Achitriaden himself. But come, let us for- to deliver a note to Captain Lawrie? I must reget these little offences, and do tell me at once what| mind him of the duty we have yet to perform this passed between him and Captain Lawrie. I long to || night; and so recall himself, and any of the other ofihear it, because you seem so unwilling to tell it.” “ cers who still prolong the feast, to a sense of their is not that,” said the boy ; “but really I have nothing situation.” to tell, for I myself do not know what they quarrelled I should regret much," said the lady, " to see any about."

- It

[ocr errors]

message sent to the hall, that may break in upon Mac- ,,oh, save me !" "Take him away, and be damned Vic-Ian's hospitality; and, believe me, if the duties you to you!” roared Glenlyon to a soldier who stood by require of your officers can be postponed but for him in an attitude of pity and hesitation. "Take hii an hour or two, that your not recalling them sooner away, and slay him instantly, or, by Heaven, I'll bury will greatly oblige the chieftains. You know our my sword in your body to the hilt.” Thus admonished, Highland customs by much too well, I trust, to have the soldier dragged the boy away from Glenlyon, but any fears of a quarrel at a Glencoe feast. Be assured with no intention to slay him—for he felt that he that your officers will meet with nothing but kindness would rather die than be guilty of such an atrocity. and courtesy--although to make a jest of the butchery At this moment Captain Lawrie, who commanded on of Newark tower, where Achitriaden's father and the opposite side of the house, and had completed the several others of our brave and gallant clansmen sul- butchery of the family, the minstrels, and the servants, fered, is rather a delicate subject in Glencoe.”' made his appearance, and, seeing the boy struggling in

“Pardon me, my dear madam,” said Glenlyon ; "I the soldier's grasp, and stretching his arms imploringly must entreat your permission to send a note to Cap-| towards Glenlyon, plunged his sword through his body tain Lawrie--for how can I any longer leave exposed to the hilt. The boy fell

, and rolled in bis agony to to these exciting festivities a man who has so far for- the feet of Glenlyon; when the gallant officer again gotten himself as to speak of the tower of Newark at plunged his sword through his body, exclaiming, “ Tak the table of Glencoe ?” Thus saying, Glenlyon bowed that, thou wild cub of the mountain wolf, and see gin courteously to the lady of Glencoe, and retired to his it men’ your girnin'!”' own apartment, whence he sent his own man with a While the above scenes were passing at Invercoe, note to the half-oblivious Captain Lawrie.

similar atrocities were being perpetrated on the sleepSilence succeeded the festivities of Invercoe. Theing inhabitants in every cottage and hamlet from the guests had retired to their respective homes, the min- one end of the doomed glen to the other. It should, strels and the servants to their own ample apartment, however, be recorded, in justice to the brave men emand the whole household was sunk in sleep; when the ployed in this butcherly service, that in every instance young chieftain of Glencoe, whose rest had been dis-in which it was possible for them to allow the infants, turbed by a fearful dream, in which he saw Achitriadenboys, and youths, and even the warriors to escape, forcing his dirk over the hilt down Captain Lawrie's without being detected and exposing themselves to throat, while he himself was being pierced through the punishment, they not only winked at, but showed back by a dozen bayonets, started from his bed in the utmost anxiety for their escape. Many of them, strange excitement, and saw that the back-door of the therefore, slyly concealed themselves in their own house was oper; and the long lobby or passage, from houses, fully armed, and prepared for deeds of venwhich the whole bedrooms along the range of the geance, the moment their suspicions should be con. buildings were entered, was completely filled with firmed by any movement of the red-coats. Hence, soldiers, who possessed every bedroom door excepting in most instances, the Glencoemen, instead of trying that in which his father and mother slept. The panic- to make their escape on the first approach of danstruck boy flew back into his own room, and, springingger, turned furiously on the unwilling instruments through the window, on the lawn in front of the house, of the murderous Government, and died fully avenged. rushed to the window of his father's bedroom, which But to detail the bloody and deadly encounters which, opened to the same side of the building; and, dashing in many instances, took place between the parties in in the shutters with a stone, screamed out, “ Treachery, the different houses and bamlets of the glen, were treachery, father! the red-coats are filling the house, tedious and unavailing. We leave them to the imagiarmed with fixed bayonets.” His father heard the nation of the reader, and return to the Connaught alarm, and rushed to the window with a sword in one Prince, with whom we parted, making his escape hand and a dirk in the other, shouting in a voice of through Torrance, from a party of soldiers, who had thunder, “Arm, Clan Ian, arm! Treachery, treachery!" been despatched to bring him dead or alive before GlenJust as his father was bursting through the window, lyon, the moment liis stolen interview of the morning the boy was flung violently back on the ground by one with old Allan's daughter had been reported to him. of a party of soldiers (who had turned the angle of the The Connaught Prince was tall, swift, and strong house) commanded by Major Campbell, muffled up in beyond any man in his regiment. Nor was he less disa large cloak, and who, on seeing the chief, shrunk tinguished for skill in the use of his weapons than for behind his men, but, at the same time, gave the word his strength, agility, and bravery. He was not, atthe of command to fire. Glencoe was half through the time we mention, therefore, much inclined to turn his window when he received the volley, the muzzles of back on four men; but honour and discipline combined the muskets being within half-a-dozen paces of his in making him hesitate to turn his arms against his breast. He fell back into his bedroom without a groan. comrades. He was, however, determined, “come Screams of horror and agony were now heard from what come may,'' to save the Thrush of Glencoe and every part of the building, which had never before her father, or to die with thein; but he was also equally echoed to aught less pleasing than the sweet voice of determined that, if ompelled to strike against his felsong and music, mirth and gladness.

low soldiers, he would only do so in their sacred cause. The boy, terror-struck at the sight of his father's The River Coc had been a good deal flooded, as is murder, and the screams and groans which issued from usually the case at that period in the scason, and the the mansion, sprang to his feet, and, rushing under great fall of snow during the day had contributed not Glenlyon's cloak, clung to him with the grasp of de a little in giving it an musually forbidding appearance spair, exclaiming, “ Save me, cousin Major, save me! to the eyes of the strangers. Terence O'Neil, how. They are murdering my father and mother! Save me ! ever, was well acquainted with flood and mountain

while under hidiug from the bloodhounds of the feudal || in which he could find neither a shealing nor a care system, who, with some degenerate relatives of his own, || to shelter himself from the storm. His excited and had accepted charters from a foreign usurper of the extraordinary conduct to herself, his bounding over the lands of his oppressed and divided clan; and he had waterfall in a state of the river which would have rendiscovered a leap over the waterfall at Achnacone, | dered the leap dangerous even in the eyes of her brother which was frequently taken by the more bold and active Allan himself, and his wandering up the houseless and youths of the glen when the river was flooded. The dreary glen in such a dreadful snow-storm, all comleast mistake in measuring the distance when takingbined to influence her heart with the suspicion that he the leap, or the least slip of the foot, would leave the had gone mad, and that his dreams, omens, and puradventurer little chance to escape with life froin the suit by the soldiers were thus abundantly explained. boiling cataract; but Terence, always daring, was now Agitated by the emotions these suspicious and circumso excited by his interview with Mary, and the sight | stances were so calculated to excite in a bosom so of the pursuers, that he would not turn on his heel to kind and sensitive, Mary had passed a day of sorrow, save his life. He accordingly threw one of the roman. and the night found her almost destitute of hope, the tic knolls of Torrance between himself and his pursuers, || last stay of the heart, and of which the Highland bard turned suddenly to the cataract, and, rushing at the thus sings :leap, cleared it with a bound; while the soldiers pushed on at full speed toward Achitriaden, believing that

Fair child of heaven, whose form ethereal, beams

Irradiant on the paths of human woe, Terence was en route for Fortwilliam, after Captain

And, like the star of eve, still lovelier seems Byng and Sergeant Stavely; for the thought that he had

Wading afar, as storms and darkness grow; betrayed their dangerous secret never once entered their What were this world sbould'st thou resign thy breath ? heads, notwithstanding the denunciations of their leader. A dreary waste of silence and of gloom,

Where, brooding o'er the tardy steps of death, Hence, the pursuers were toiling up the glen, while

Each for himself would dig the ghastly tomb ! Terence was leisurely winding his way through the bosom of Glen-lea-na-mui, where he had resolved to The hollow sound of the wind, as it rushed wild hide himself during the day, and to repair to the pro- through the cliffs of the mountains which towered tection of the old man and his family by midnight, being around their dwelling, or swept over the desolate plains, the time appointed for their massacre.

carrying whole fields of snow in its whirling vortex, The desertion of Terence caused the Major to add fell like the death-warning of the Benshee on her two soldiers more to old Allan's guests, although, from heart. Yet her ear and eye seemed only quickened in the absence of his son and servants, his household only their vigilance and perception by the state of nervous consisted of his daughter and two boys, with two ser- excitement in which she was placed; so that neither the vant-girls and his henchman, who was more aged and least sound without, nor so much as the erection of a more frail than his master. The soldiers lived in the greyhound's or a terrier's ear within (as they stretched large kitchen along with the domestics, but they slept themselves at the kitchen fire), could escape her no. in the stable.

tice. Old Allan gave a banquet to his guests, in imitation While the soldiers remained in the house, she went of his chieftain—for as the privates were inadmissible as seldom as possible to the door, although her anxiety to the banquet, the clan did not, as was usual, on this and impatience to watch the corners of the outhouses occasion, dine at Invercoe; the feudal, unlike the clan || (where her heart told her he might possibly be now system, being sustained by a wide and impassable dif- watching over her safety), in the hope of once more ference between the barons and officers, and the vassals catching a glimpse of his manly form, and hearing of and serfs, so that the former could not dine with the his future intentions, were almost unbearable. When latter; while, under the patriarchal system, the whole they retired, however, and she saw the stable door shat clan was considered equally noble in their descent, and behind them, she instantly wrapped herself up in her no distinction was ever admitted or shown between plaid, and took her station at the end of the house, them excepting when on duty, in the obedience due to cold and terrific as was the night, watehing for the the chief and chieftains whom they elected to command return of her unfortunate lover, almost against hope. them in battle, and to be their jury at the Brehon mod, Mary had not been long stationed at the end of the or Court of Justice. Nor was the celebrated mountain house, when she observed something moving at the dew absent from the feast of old Allan ; but his sus- corner of the barn, which her heart assured her was picions being excited by the message of Terence (whose her snow-covered and unfortunate Terence. She sprang pursuit by the soldiers was also made known to him), to the spot without a thought of alarm, althougli

, the and the addition to the number of his guests, as well moment before, she felt convinced of his insanity. as by their constrained manners, and occasional bursts “Dear Terence,” “Dear Mary,” for the first time of unnatural mirth, he could not so successfully enterbroke from their hearts, and told a tale of mutual love, into the spirit of the jest and the song as was his wont ;|| which, in ordinary circumstances, might never have so that the entertainment lacked, in a great measure, been revealed; and Mary found herself clasped to her its usual accompaniments in the hospitable house of lover's bosom with emotions which for a moment preOld Balbena, and the soldiers retired more early than | vented her from feeling that she was half-smothered in usual, much to the relief of the old man and his the wreath of snow which clung around him. The daughter.

moment she became sensible of his condition, alarm Mary had passed an anxious and a melancholy day, for his sufferings became her first thought, and she exalthough she had witnessed the escape of Terence; claimed, "Good God ! you are starving. The soldiers for the snow had continued its heavy fall, and she could have retired. Follow me instantly into the house. I not comprehend his object in diving into a solitary glen, || will only precede you to prepare my father. Your sus

[ocr errors]

picions are now shared in by himself, and you will be || sin?" said the old henchman. “Seider dearg," was the gladly received.”

ready answer. “Open the door, Ewen; one of my com•Stop a moment," said Terence. “Fear not for me, || rades has got very ill, and I want a light.” “ Be she for I have that within which defies the storm. Will her lane sell," asked Ewen, in his best Saxon, “or be the old man fly with his family to the cave, or what has more seider than lane sel at the yett ?” "No more. he determined on doing? The hour of fate is at hand.” |I am quite alone. Ye old foutre, what are you afraid

Follow, and you shall hear,” said Mary, as she of? Open the door instantly, or I'll drive it about your tripped into the house before him, to apprise her fa- ears." "Ye be lie,” said the old man, sternly. “Ye ther.

no be lane sel. Aff ta bed! She'll no open ta yett.” Terence was received with great kindness by the Some more whispering was soon heard, aud, immeold man, who insisted on his instantly shifting himself diately afterwards, a heavy stone was dashed against out of his knapsack, which fortunately hung in the the door, which flew from its hinges; and instantly the kitchen. He also insisted on his both eating and five rufians rushed into the kitchen. Ewen threw drinking, greatly against his inclination; but the old himself across their path, and struck at one of them man's importunity would not be gainsaid. Terence with his dirk, but fell short of his aim, and, receiving being thus refreshed, the old man and himself retired a bayonet-thrust through his heart, fell to the ground together to the former's apartment. What passed be

a dead man.

In the meantime, old Allan, who had tween them never transpired, but, on their return, the placed a supply of lint in a corner, lifted a tuft on the old man kissed and then solemnly blessed Mary and point of his dirk, and flung it on the fire, which suddenhis two boys, and then, embracing them with deep ly blazing up, exposed and dazzled for a moment the emotion, he said to Mary—“Child of my heart, pure eyes of the soldiers, and in that moment two of their and perfect image in form and nature of thy now sainted number were stretched in the dust by the dirks of the mother, remember that on your presence of mind and old man and Terence; and the light having expired as devoted firmness of purpose now depends the lives of | quickly as it blazed up, the survivors rushed back to my sole earthly treasures--thyself and thy brothers. I the door, where they stood on the defensive, with their might yet lead you to the cave; but you would scorn bayonets pointed, and their muskets levelled in the the safety that would be secured by means which might direction of the fire; but the darkness rendered it inhave been taken for all, and which, if now taken for cautious in either party to fire or advance upon the you alone, might throw a suspicion of treachery, or at other. least of selfishness, on the character of your father.” A pause of a few minutes ensued, when the soldiers He then desired her and the boys to enter into a place again whispered together, and instantly thereafter three of concealment under the floor, which they had never shots were fired, one of which, unhappily, took effect, before seen, and in which they had just room to be- when Terence staggered and almost fell. The old stow themselves, and no more. “Whatever you hear, man instantly threw another tuft of tow on the fire, and, my dear children,” continued the old man, move not, as it blazed up, discharged a pistol with unerring aim, breathe not, until called from your concealment by some which brought a third soldier to the ground. He then friendly voice; and ol, God bless and protect you, my | drew Terence quickly back behind a large dresser, darlings!" Here Terence whispered something, and which formed no insecure breastwork in the direction the old man suspended the lowering of the trap.door of the door, and anxiously inquired where he was for a moment, and said, “Surely, surely! And hear me, wounded, and whether dangerously. Terence replied Mary, my child; should Terence and you survive this that the wound was by no means dangerous, but that, night, you have my consent to your union. He is the unfortunately, it disabled his right arm. The old son of a chief, and his conduct this day is worthy of man felt for the wound, and hastily wrapped a bandage his pedigree. And now farewell," he said in an almost | round the arm, saying, “ Never mind, my friend ; hand sobbing voice, as Terence stepped back, after kissing me your pistol, and we shall soon be on equal terms. the boys as well as Mary, and the artfully-contrived || But, should I fall, remember that everything defloor was lowered over the concealed aperture. pends on your life. Pledge me your honour then, in

Mary and the children having thus been disposed of, this solemn moment, that, as soon as the coast is the old man instantly ordered the two servant-girls, wh clear of these two ruffians, you will leave the house, and were still in the kitchen, and ignorant of all that had hide yourself until the patrol (which will soon be here passed, to retire to their closet, to barricade themselves on their rounds, to see that the tale of murder is comwithin, and keep quiet, whatever noise or tumult might || plete) shall have withdrawn; when I leave it to your reach their ears. He then ordered the old henchman | discretion to relieve my unhappy children from their to arm himself, and hastily handed one of his own pis- dismal confinement. And now, farewell, my friend, tols and a dirk to Terence, telling him that he would for this conflict must be terminated before the guard find it “the best of all weapons at close quarters."|| make their appearance." So saying, the old man cau. The door of the house was then closed and barred; and tiously advanced towards the door, in which the rethe two old warriors and the brave and powerful Terence | maining soldiers were stationed, with his dirk in one seated themselves in stern silence in the darkened || hand, and a loaded pistol in the other, followed by kitchen, waiting the event.

Terence, who still clung to him, although now but little Nor had the above precautions been taken a moment able to afford him support. The two soldiers, standing in too soon. They heard the door stealthily and silently the doorway, had theirmuskets again loaded, and levelled approached, and a hand moving cautiously over its sur-|| in the direction in which the old man and Terence were face, as if feeling for the latch, which it at length found, || approaching. The outline of the forms of the former and tried to lift, but without success. Some whispering were thus darkly seen, while the position of the party succeeded; and then thee firm raps were given, "Co || advancing upon them could only be guessed at by the

« PreviousContinue »